Yang Shen – Post Bulletin


Yang Shen, 70, died quietly on April 16, 2022 at Emory University Hospital after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Yang was employed as an accountant and ocean import manager by Nankai Transport International in Atlanta for 25 years, retiring in November 2021. In the same week she retired, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. advanced and spent the next four months at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where she received treatment. She was born in Nanjing, China on October 14, 1951. Prior to 1949, her father, Yu Fu Shen, was press secretary to Yi Shen, the mayor of Nanjing, then the capital of China. His father was also a professor of Chinese literature, and from him Yang learned the skills of Chinese calligraphy to a high degree. She became president of the Shanghai Luwan Calligraphy Association and served as a document specialist at the Shanghai Sun-Yat Sen Museum (Zhongshan Guju) in the former residence of Sun Yat-Sen. After the communist takeover in 1949, when Yang was a small child, his father was branded a counter-revolutionary and sent to a concentration camp in the Qinghai desert in China for four years, leaving Yang and his two siblings with his mother in Shanghai. The communists tried to pressure her mother, Yu Xiu Pu, to divorce her husband, but she refused. After his father returned, he was placed under house arrest for 20 years, during which time Yang and his family were publicly ostracized and subjected to beatings and raids by Red Guards. Yang saved his father’s life from a mob of communist agitators who were about to execute him. Yang managed to warn his father and he escaped. When Deng Xiao Ping took power, she was able to travel to Japan to study, where after experiencing many hardships, she was awarded a first N1 certificate of proficiency in Japanese. She also exhibited calligraphy in Japan. She immigrated to the United States in 1993 and became a naturalized American citizen. Her bold, flowery calligraphy has found its way into collections in and around Atlanta and far beyond. She is remembered as a master of Chinese calligraphy during a dramatic, spontaneous, and vocal open debate at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta between Japanese Zen Buddhist calligraphy master Fukushima Keido Roshi and herself in 2003. She is also remembered for her singing of popular Japanese and Chinese songs. . She is survived by her beloved husband of 26 years, Joseph Valles, of Stockbridge, GA, and her sisters Hui Shen and Qi Shen, both of Atlanta. Yang was a soft-hearted person with a gentle personality and a dedicated calligrapher who loved nature, home, and music. She was a phenomenal cook and trained as a chef in Japan, specializing in Shanghainese Chinese and Japanese cuisine. She deeply touched many hearts in her lifetime. Original examples of his calligraphy and those of his father and mother will be donated to the Smithsonian’s Arthur Sackler Museum of Asian Art in Washington, DC.

Viewings were held at AS Turner & Sons, 2773 N Decatur Rd, Decatur, GA 30033 on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Funeral service was held at Resthaven Cemetery, 2284 Candler Rd, Decatur, Ga 30032 on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 10 a.m.

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